Sokoine University of Agriculture

Socio-Economic tools for rodent management research: recent experience from Africa and Asia

Show simple item record Krebs, Charles Zhang, Zhibin Tuat, Nguyen Van Singleton, Grant Makundi, Rhodes H. Hinds, Lyn Ylönen, Hannu Leirs, Herwig Sudarmaji Belmain, Steven R. Jacob, Jens Brown, Peter Zhang, Jianxu Avenant, N.L. 2016-11-30T10:50:12Z 2016-11-30T10:50:12Z 2006
dc.description.abstract The scientific development of anti-coagulant rodenticides led to a complete transformation of rodent pest control services throughout the world. Suddenly it became economically practical to eradicate localised rodent populations in agricultural or urban environments. The success of chronic poisons became doctrine among rodent experts. However, understanding how rodent behaviour was exploited by chronic poisons, the differences between chronic and acute poisons, and the way poisons need to be delivered, continue to be poorly understood by the general public and people attempting to manage their own rodent pest problems. The success of chronic rodenticides has its limitations prescribed by human knowledge, socio-cultural context and, of course, by the nature of the rodent pest problem experienced. In short, our best rodent management tools can and do fail when individuals and experts do not understand the circumstances and tools with which they are attempting to carry out rodent management. Recently completed research to develop ecologically-based rodent management (EBRM) strategies for rural agricultural communities in Bangladesh and South Africa has shown that it is vitally important to understand the knowledge, attitudes and practices (KAP) of people experiencing rodent pest problems. Tools for evaluating ethno-ecology and human behaviour were developed and implemented as part of these EBRM research projects. Community focus groups were used to understand the decision making process and the risks and benefits of rodents and management actions. Resource maps, cropping calendars and decision analysis matrices helped describe the opportunities and constraints experienced by community members; while changes in human behaviour in response to rodent management interventions were monitored through the use of individual KAP survey questionnaires and farmer diaries. By using these socio-economic tools, it was possible to quantify the impact of rodent pests on people’s livelihoods as well as the cost-benefits of new rodent management strategies. Data from these studies showed that communities could cost-beneficially reduce rodent impacts. Participatory approaches of research were adopted which allowed rodent ecology research to be carried out that would not have otherwise been feasible, while at the same time improving knowledge among community members about rodents and appropriate management strategies. The prospects of positive long-term changes in human behaviour were enhanced through using these socio-economic tools. Anthropological and economic studies are essential when trying to understand the impact of rodents on people’s lives. Research in the RatZooMan project studying the role of rodents in the transmission of zoonotic diseases in southern Africa showed that human behaviour and actions are often responsible for the persistence and spread of zoonosis in the environment as well as affecting the individual risk of exposure to disease. Socio- economics also affect people’s health care seeking behaviour, causing delay or inappropriate treatment choices. Witchcraft, curses, superstitions and religion can influence the fundamental knowledge within a community about human disease and can even affect the way in which rodent pest problems are perceived and managed. Scientists who desire to be praised (and not cursed) for their research on rodent pest management would ignore the socio-economic aspects of rodent management at their peri en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher ICRBM en_US
dc.subject SOCIO-ECONOMIC en_US
dc.subject RODENT PESTS en_US
dc.subject SMALL MAMMAL en_US
dc.subject HOUSE MICE en_US
dc.title Socio-Economic tools for rodent management research: recent experience from Africa and Asia en_US
dc.type Article en_US

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